Soon after the holiday rush had ended just as feverishly as it had begun, I found myself with some free time. I began envisioning how the store could grow in 2019 and quickly found myself purchasing all new displays, painting the outside, replacing the ceiling tiles, and installing wide wood planks for flooring. Reality quickly caught a hold of me and I reminded myself I had asked the Universe for slow steady growth when we opened.
I found an article about decompression zones in retail. It caught my interest, and so I read. It shared how important it is for a store to offer a "decompression zone" to its shoppers when they enter. A space that is designed to transition them from the outside in and instead of blasting people with signs, product displays, and merchandise to simply allow them to enter and catch their breath. For many of you that know me, it was a great reason to rearrange the entire store. When we first opened this would happen monthly. As we accumulated more artisan pieces and merchandise our pace slowed down to once every few months. If you have been one of the unfortunate few that have stumbled in upon such a move, I offer my most sincere apologies.
After finishing the article which included more about wide aisles, shoppable displays, themed vignettes, and soothing transitions, I knew exactly what we needed to do. It was an entire rearrangement of the store floor plan including the aisles, large display furniture, and coming to terms with inventory that hasn't budged for a while. Most people who visit our store for the first time or who frequent regularly are taken with our two large overstuffed chairs which have been affectionately nicknamed, "Chairapy". With an image of a Pottery Barn in some multi-leveled mall I decided to place the favorite chairs facing the door with room to pause as people entered.
In the coming months, we invite you to come and stay awhile as you decompress in our large comfy chairs or browse the 100's of local artisans who lovingly fill our store with the most beautiful, uniquely local gifts and works of art. We made a few other changes when we moved the chairs, just ask Cathie. We hope you will be pleasantly surprised at all the new elbow room and the flow of the store which begs you to take your time, breathe, and spend some time discovering the many local talents of South Berwick, Maine, and artists from near and far.